For a long time now the talk among most people in the industry I’ve come in contact with has been about globalization, harmony, no borders, blending NextGen with SESAR, in terms of technology, procedures and timing. I believe this is all good stuff, and frankly the right way to go as the world becomes smaller and air travel becomes more affordable and more widely available to so many, especially in developing nations. Recently, I spent time at the US-China Aviation Summit, and clearly that message was foremost on nearly everyone’s agenda. Sure there was lots of talk about their needs as they prepare their country for 4-60 more airports in the next 20 years, and their need for technology and infrastructure, airplanes, crews, and the list goes on, almost limitless. These folks and others who are beginning to see the wisdom in creating and maximizing their aviation industries, are poised to garner every kind of assistance available, whether in terms of experience, or products. There are partnerships all over the world where employment opportunity is available for companies not necessarily headquartered there or not. While I don’t have specific figures, it’s fair to say that even in China, many big and small American companies employ Chinese workers. I suspect this is a solid and rewarding business decision by those long entrenched or by those trying to break into a burgeoning market. I recall the difficulty we at Metron Aviation faced when trying to garner some of the SESAR work early on, and were pretty much told that unless we had a footprint in Europe, it wasn’t likely that we might enjoy some of the business opportunities over there. Yet, there were and continue to be rather large American companies deeply involved in SESAR as the “globalization” rationale continues to be the back beat of the industry’s music. We spend countless hours talking and acting in “collaboration” all around the world, believing that this is the right way to effect change and build the best products and procedures. We include elements from every part of the industry, especially as we move ahead in operational terms. Seeing air traffic controllers, dispatchers, and meteorological types, along with traffic managers, pilots, and airport operators, just to name a nominal group, explore and execute system improvements is very satisfying indeed. It wasn’t that long ago when I was an air traffic controller, that I made decisions for the airlines. I decided who could takeoff and land, with no idea as to the impact to an airlines business model. As we embraced collaborative decision making (CDM), I found it an eye opener and moved to re-establish my role as someone who could afford a slot without necessarily determining who or what aircraft should fill it. Leaving this decision where it best belonged, to the operator. The foundation of Air Traffic Flow Management is now in collaboration, and rightly so. Through those early years of CDM, more and more was learned and shared among industry groups, resulting in a whole new way to conduct business. Putting every stakeholder in a position to both participate in a plans development and eager to execute it. The days of gaming each other were quickly on the decline, and there was a new vigor around how the system would perform.